Tag Archives: RealD

Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 14 November 2014

Cinema Park

Cinema Park, Russia’s biggest cinema chain, has just been bought by a 19-year old college student for USD $385 million. Proof that Russia is a land of bold young Internet entrepreneurs buying into traditional media or a crony capitalist nepotistic kleptocracy? You be the judge.

 

Said Kerimov, a student at top Moscow State Institute of International Relations, is the son of Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

Kerimov, is a student MGIMO, at the university is known in its Russian acronym, an institution with a reputation for training future businessmen and diplomats.

Kerimov junior’s offer of $385 million (19 billion roubles) for Cinema Park, has been accepted by Interros, the industrial group controlled by Vladimir Potantin that owns the chain along with other media interests.  LINK

RealD

The patent war between RealD and MAsterImage rumbles on.

On November 7, 2014, RealD Inc. of Beverly Hills, California (“RealD”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that MasterImage 3D, Inc. of Sherman Oaks, California and MasterImage 3D Asia, LLC of South Korea (collectively, “MasterImage”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain three-dimensional cinema systems and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,905,602 (the ’602 patent), 8,220,934 (the ’934 patent), 7,857,455 (the ’455 patent), and 7,959,296 (the ’296 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”)….

In the complaint, RealD states that MasterImage imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to the MasterImage-Horizon3D digital cinema system and MasterImage-Horizon3D dual digital cinema system as infringing products.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 12 November 2014

RealD Light doubler

RealD has won an important patent recognition in Europe for its “light doubler” technology.

Global visual technology company RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD) announced today the issuance to it by the European Patent Office of a patent that covers the fundamental optical architecture of the company’s XL Cinema System, which is the world’s brightest and most widely used cinema 3D projection technology.

“The issuance of this European patent builds on the significant patent position we have globally around our XL Cinema System and validates our inventive approach,” said Robert Mayson, Managing Director of RealD Europe. “We place great value on our intellectual property and its ability to ensure the industry’s brightest, premium visual experience for our partners and moviegoers around the world.”  LINK

Big Cinemas

It seems that a deal for Indian multiplex major BIG Cinema could be imminent.

BIG Cinemas, a 100-per cent subsidiary of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Capital, has lined up three suitors for a Rs 800-crore [USD $130 million] deal on the lines of the merger agreement that Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) had inked with global media and entertainment giant Prime Focus Limited in July.

According to sources, Carnival Films Private Limited, a South India-centric company, has emerged as the front runner for the deal while PVR Limited and Inox Leisure Limited are also in the race.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 4 November 2014

RealD Glasses

RealD has rebuffed the takeover offer from hedge fund Starboard Value, having posted better-than-expected quarterly financial figures.

The company says that its board has “unanimously determined not to pursue” a $600 million unsolicited offer from Jeffrey Smith’s activist hedge fund Starboard Value. RealD directors “believe the value of its business will benefit from the strength of its cinema platform and upcoming film slate, the value inherent in its IP portfolio, and the changes being made to further reduce operating expenses and capital expenditures,” it says in a just-released quarterly earnings report.

CEO Michael Lewis added that the company is “in the process of taking additional steps designed to enhance shareholder value.” That could include a restructuring of its R&D efforts and “a further streamlining of our organization and efficiencies in our cost structure.”  LINK

Although RealD posted a loss for the most recent quarter, the figures were still an improvement on last year and met market expectations.

RealD reported Monday that revenue in its most recent quarter rose 8 percent to $47.4 million and the company lost $1.6 million, an improvement over the same quarter last year when it lost $4.7 million.

On an earnings-per-share basis, the 3D movie company lost 3 cents, while in the same frame a year ago it lost 9 cents. LINK

Unfortunately for RealD “Interstellar” will not be released in 3D, except possibly in China. Catch it tonight in 35mm, 70mm and analogue Imax.

K Sera Sera

The Indian digital cinema company KSS Ltd (formerly K Sera Sera), whose Vice President of Technology Rajesh Chowdhry was previously caught pirating a major Bollywood release, has pledged to work with Sony to install thousands of projectors in the country over the next few years.

Digital media and entertainment company, KSS Ltd today announced its foray into 4K space and has joined hands with Hong Kong-based Sony Corporation to bring in the 4K cinema technology.

Also KSS has set up a target to install 3,000 4K cinema screens over next 2-3 years, the company said in a statement here.

“KSS has always focused on providing the best technology and innovation in cinema. With this partnership with Sony, KSS aims to provide Indians a never before experience of cinema through 4K technology,” K Sera Sera Digital Cinema Private Limited CEO Vineeta Dwivedi said.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 3 October 2014

RealD Founders Michael Lewis and Josh Greer

RealD founders Michael Lewis, left, and Josh Greer wear 3-D glasses inside their theater at their Beverly Hills headquarters. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

RealD shares debuted at USD $16 when the company first went public but are now languishing at less than ten dollars, so this unsolicited take-over bid should not come as a surprise.

RealD Inc. (RLD), the supplier of 3-D technology to cinemas, received a $12-a-share takeover bid from Starboard Value LP, the activist investor that’s pressing Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) for changes. RealD shares soared.

Starboard holds a 9.9 percent stake in RealD, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The offer represents a 29 percent premium over RealD’s $9.27 closing price yesterday in New York and values the company at about $600 million. The stock jumped 27 percent to $11.78 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day gain since the July 2010 IPO. LINK

ACGE Conference

Director Sylvain Guy Francois Macerola, Patrick Roy, president of Seville Pictures and Raffaele Papalia, president Cinemas Cine Entreprise

Canada (Quebeq) – French-speaking Canada has a new cinema association: l’Association pour le cinéma sur grand écran (ACGE).

Speakers from all areas of the film industry on the big screen on Wednesday announced the creation of the Association for movies on the big screen (ACGE), whose objective is to promote the cinematic experience.

As President, members ACGE elected unanimously Raffaele Papalia, president of Cinemas Cine Entreprise. The former president and CEO of SODEC François Macerola will act as a strategic advisor to the association.

According to Papalia, now is now conducive to union resources of members of the CGEA, “to analyze the challenges the film industry faces on the big screen.” The objectives of the new association will be to develop new approaches that will favor the revival of audiences, convey a positive and inclusive message to moviegoers and promote the cinema experience on the big screen. LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 3 September 2014

Barco Escape

The Hollywood Reporter has a special issue looking at ‘The Future of Film‘, which to a large extent is also about the future of cinema. Lots of rich pickings, including Carolyn Giardina looking at Barco’s three-screen Escape and what lies beyond it.

Movie screens will continue to morph into ever-wider configurations as well, predicts The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a German research firm. “There will be more panorama screens; it’s already happening in Germany,” says Siegfried Foessel, who oversees the company’s moving-picture technologies department, which is developing a 360-degree camera system that was used to shoot the final of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. That footage will be shown in a special 360-degree OmniCam theater installation planned for the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich. Meanwhile, startup Jaunt is developing a 360-degree camera for use in virtual reality.

High-tech interactivity also may play a role in the next generation of theaters. Avatron Development USA is creating special venues, comprised of high-tech attractions, that could begin arriving in cities across the country as early as 2017. They would include a theater where a 3D movie is projected onto a 360-degree dome-shaped screen and real-time facial replacement would be used to project audience members into the action.  LINK

Have Faith in Popcorn

Elsewhere in the issue four ‘experts’ are asked where moviegoing will be ten years hence. The wonderfully out-there Faith Popcorn is the one we can resist quoting.

Movie theaters are dying. As consumers hide out in their at-home binge-cocoons, devouring entire seasons of HBO and Netflix programming, theater owners will partner with hotels to create binge retreats. These will be fab private dens you can rent for a few hours or days to binge-watch whatever you like. It’ll be all about decadence: Food will be catered and gourmet. Mixologists, masseuses and manicurists will be on-call. People will be unplugging from home and work, and plugging in to entertainment, fantasy and luxury.

In the future, fantasy adventure (our craving for exotic experiences) and technology will demolish the old-school movie screen. We’ll have completely immersive experiences. In a decade, Imax and even Oculus Rift experiences will seem as outdated as a Walkman.  LINK

Switch to MasterImage

China (PRC) – As if RealD wasn’t having a bad enough week with Vue announcing that it was switching to Sony Digital Cinema 3D (see yesterday’s Daily), its Asian 3D nemesis MasterImage is now coming for them all legal patent guns blazing.

MasterImage 3D, a worldwide leader in 3D display technologies for digital cinema, took action to challenge the validity of RealD’s utility model (UM) patent in China, filing an invalidation before the State Intellectual Property Office on August 22, 2014. MasterImage 3D specifically argues that RealD’s utility model patent blatantly lacks novelty over MasterImage 3D’s earlier filed patent applications and over RealD’s older patents disclosed several years prior in the United States.

MasterImage 3D concluded that RealD’s utility model patent filed in China is not valid and lacks inventiveness. This UM application was only successfully granted because Chinese UM patents lack substantive examination.  LINK

 

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sony Vue

Is Vue ditching RealD? The exhibitor is switching almost 400 of its screens across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark to Sony Digital Cinema 3D projectors. While the press release doesn’t say it, this is a significant departure for Vue, which has exclusively been using RealD’s 3D technology and is now expanding using the non-licence and non-proprietary Sony 3D solution that Sony previously only offered in non-RealD territories. RealD won’t be happy about this.

The phased conversion process is scheduled to start in September this year. It will extend over a three to four year time period, covering a total of 394 screens across the group’s Vue and CinemaxX branded European estate.

Unlike ‘triple-flash’ systems that rapidly present different images to each eye in turn, the Sony Digital Cinema 3D dual lens solution provides smooth, immersive flicker-free 3D images without distracting flashing effects. Whether audiences are watching in 3D or 2D, Sony’s unique 4K projection technology assures an unparalleled viewing experience, with market-leading contrast levels plus exceptional colour and clarity.

Vue Entertainment International currently deploys a mix of Sony 4K projection systems across its estate, including the flagship R320 and its acclaimed sibling, the R515 that’s optimised for medium-sized and smaller screens.  LINK

 Secret Cinema goes LA Back to the future

After the success of the Back to the Future screenings in London (aside from the botched launch), Secret Cinema is going to bring Hill Valley back to its ancestral and spiritual home – Los Angeles – as part of its launch in the US next year.

Secret Cinema is planning to take its hit production of Back to the Future to Los Angeles, marketing the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.

The immersive cinema company, which builds live events around the screening of films, plans to stage the production in LA next summer. It will follow Secret Cinema’s launch in the US in early 2015 with its Tell No One strand, which keeps the audience guessing the identity of the film until they arrive on the night.

Secret Cinema revealed its plans following the end of a month-long run of Back to the Future, staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London from July 31 to Aug 31.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 20 August 2014

AMC Imax

AMC and Imax have signed a deal to deepen their business ties. What this signifies is that AMC and Wanda Cinemas, while technically different companies (though with shared ownership) are increasingly becoming indistinguishable with regards to cinema business policies. I bet they even buy popcorn kernels from the same vendor, even if they don’t put out press releases about it.

IMAX Corporation IMAX, +2.03% (IMX) and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. AMC, +1.43% today announced an expansion of the companies’ existing joint revenue sharing arrangement with the addition of 11 IMAX® theatres. The theatres, which will carry 13-year lease terms from the date of installation, are expected to be installed in 2015 in cities that include Chicago, New York, Newark and Phoenix. Today’s agreement brings AMC’s total IMAX commitment to 159 theatres and reinforces its position as the largest IMAX exhibitor in North America.  LINK

Rakesh Kumar CBFC

India’s much reviled Chief Censor has been indicted for corruption. You couldn’t make this up, but it highlights what a rotten mess Indian bureaucracy is when a ‘babu’ with a railway background (!) is put in charge of a body like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). It is worth remembering what a let’s-clean-up-this-cinematic-filth-style moralist Kumar was when he was first appointed to the job.

The CBI arrested Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Rakesh Kumar in an alleged bribery case on Monday.

Last week the CBI had registered a case against Kumar and also arrested an authorized censor agent and an advisory panel member of the CBFC for demanding a Rs 70,000 bribe on the behalf of the CEO to urgently clear a film from Chhattisgarh.

The CBI had conducted search on Kumar’s residence last week and had recovered Rs 10.50 lacks cash, gold jewellery and property documents.  LINK

Read More »

Quarterly Results: RealD (Good) and NCM (Not)

RealD logo

We are coming to the end of the current season of quarterly financial results, with RealD and National CineMedia, Inc announcing their respective Q1 2015 and Q2 2014 results. One is good and the other one not so good.

Starting with 3D technology licensing company RealD, the figures should please investors, with a 43% EBITDA year-on-year growth and net income of over USD 5 million. The press release gives the details:

Total revenue was $55.4 million, comprised of license revenue of $36.0 million and product and other revenue of $19.4 million. For the first quarter of fiscal 2014, total revenue was $59.2 million, comprised of license revenue of $37.3 million and product and other revenue of $21.9 million.

China license revenue represented 14% of total worldwide license revenue, up from 8% in the first fiscal quarter of 2014.

GAAP net income attributable to common stockholders was $5.5 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to GAAP net loss attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The key metrics are interesting in terms of showing RealD weathering a slowdown in North America, both in terms of deployment and box office, with growth in emerging markets more than compensating and in some cases overtaking US/Canada numbers.

  • Estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens(1) for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 was $787 million ($387 million domestic, $400 million international). In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens was $838 million ($431 million domestic, $407 million international).
  • Ten 3D films were released in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to eight 3D films in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. These figures reflect the number of 3D films released domestically during the periods.
  • International markets generated 63% of license revenue and 34% of product and other revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had deployed approximately 25,600 RealD-enabled screens, an increase of 9% from approximately 23,500 screens as of June 30, 2013, and an increase of 400 screens (50 domestic, 350 international), or 2%, from approximately 25,200 screens as of March 31, 2014.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had approximately 13,450 domestic screens at approximately 3,000 domestic theater locations and approximately 12,150 international screens at approximately 3,000 international theater locations.

In the earnings call (transcript by Seeking Alpha, as always) CEO Michael V. Lewis pointed to a 20% cost reduction and significant growth in China, Russia and Latin America as keys to the company’s success in this quarter.

Read More »

CineEurope 2014: The Future of Big Screen

The Future of Big Screen Panel at CineEurope 2014

Next panel-ette starts a bit early with IHS’s David Hancock saying he will try to “keep it short, sharp and punchy.” RealD and IMAX in the ring with him.  Here are some of the highlights from the panel discussion as submitted live via iPhone:

“How do you define large screen?” asks Hancock. Andrew Cripps of Imax cites Los Angeles Times article that reported that premium large format (PLF) screens are 20% larger than regular size movie screen but says in IMAX “a lot of other elements go into it.” RealD’s Bob Mayson notes irony of discussing big screen in a very small conference room. [Indeed].

Luxe is an Eastern Europe/Russia focused initiative. Mayson told me earlier that they announced in a recent investor call that they now have 22 PLF screens committed of which at least half should be in place before the end of this year.

Cripps talks about working with film makers and the ‘total experience’. Hancock asks what drives it. Mayson says premium ticket prices and the ‘thirst for a better experience, particularly when there is so much competition for the consumer’s dollars.’ He points out that when he was at Kodak he sold a LOT of film to IMAX. [that was before Cripps joined].

Cripps agrees with Mayson on the premium price/experience. Makes an analogy with Starbucks coffee. Hancock asks if smaller 2D screens are under threat. Mayson mentions small VIP seating, but acknowledges that’s not today’s topic.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 12 June 2014

RealD CineEurope 2014

We’ve featured MasterImage, DepthQ and Volfoni, but the 3D presentations at this year’s CineEurope will be courtesy of RealD.

Exhibiting from the grand CCIB Auditorium, RealD will be at the very heart of the proceedings using our innovative 2D and 3D-optimised Precision White Screen (PWS). Benefiting from extra wide viewing angles and brighter edges, RealD ensures an unprecedented quality of image for this year’s best upcoming releases.

Experience the future with us in in Barcelona. We look forward to seeing you there. Discover more in room M213.

Sony CineEurope

As if we weren’t tempted enough by the ECA Lounge or the Coca-Cola bar at CineEurope, who can resist this tempting invite from Sony?

Unwind and relax in our chill out zone on the first floor at CineEurope 2014 from 16-19 June in Barcelona.

Relax on our sofas, charge your phone with our power outlets and play with the latest 4K tech.

Click here for more information

Only a few more days to go now until CineEurope 2014 kicks off in Barcelona. See you there.

Read More »